In broad jumping, one runs as fast as he can, plants his foot firmly on the board and leaps as far as he can into the landing pit. Why, on my very first jump I traveled nearly four times as far as I had ever gone in high jumping. And with practice, I began to jump over twenty feet.
But still, I was in a rut. The same rut. The same runway, the same landing pit. Always the same. Oh, I practiced, but there's a limit to how far a man can jump. And regardless of how far you jump, you never land outside of that pit. No matter how hard I studied, or how hard I tried. No matter how far I jumped, I always landed in the same pit.
There had to be more to the Great Meet than this. As I sat by the pit with my head in my hands, my eyes caught a glimpse of the scarred feet of the coach and I knew he had been a runner.
"What's wrong, my son? You look unhappy."
"What seems to be your problem?"
"Well, it's the jumping, sir. I always seem to land in the same place. I'm not getting anywhere."
"Then quit jumping. You have learned that doing the same thing over and over again accomplishes nothing. You have found yourself in a rut, with no drive and no ambition. You are performing, yes, but you are going nowhere. You are performing for the sake of performing. And that's not good. Do you want a change?"
"Then follow me."
And I did. He led me out of my rut. Out of the pit. Out of the infield. He led me onto the track itself and I became a runner.